Friday, 27 of April of 2018

Virginia Beach Man Died After Doctor Failed to Notify Him of Pneumonia Diagnosis

Misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

By John Cooper, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), family recently received a small measure of justice nearly four years after losing a husband, father, son and uncle due to a shocking case of repeated medical malpractice that included misdiagnoses, negligence and errors by multiple private-practice and hospital-based doctors.

The victim’s widow won a $3.5 million verdict against the man’s primary physicians in September 2010, but the money must provide little comfort in light of the circumstances that led to this preventable loss of life.

In late 2006, the 24-year-old man went to his doctor because he was coughing and experiencing chest pain. The physician prescribed a narcotic painkiller but did not take x-rays or diagnosis any lung infection. Over the next week, the man visited other doctors and emergency rooms, eventually receiving the x-rays that allowed health care providers to diagnose pneumonia.

When the man’s first doctor, after even more delay, finally called to tell him he had bacterial pneumonia, the doctor’s staff called the wrong phone number and never placed any follow-up calls. When the man succumbed to his highly treated lung disease, he left behind two young children and a wife.

Fellow malpractice attorney Phil J. Geib helped the man’s survivors win their lawsuit, although the jury verdict was reduced to an award of $1.85 under Virginia’s unfair caps on malpractice penalties.

As this case shows, misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

I am glad to see that those responsible for this medical malpractice and wrongful death were held accountable in court.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.